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pets

pets

There is a new dog in the house!

I knew there was a good reason I decided to get another dog – less stress! According to this Huffington Post article there are benefits to pet ownership.

If you heard the back story about my first dog we purchased the year before last IT WAS A NIGHTMARE! Unfortunately as first time dog owners we had a puppy (my recommendation is if you are a first time dog owner:  do NOT get a puppy) and really did not know what to do.

We had several dog trainers telling us what to do and what not to do (in many instances it was the complete opposite information). Our cockapoo looked adorable but had food aggression, resource guarding, biting and attacking issues.  He would  attack people when they came to the door. He bit several people throughout the year we had him. I think it was the breeding as we bought him from a very nice woman who was not really a breeder but just lived on a farm and had some dogs. Lesson learned.  Luckily, we were able to go through a rescue organization and he is with an adult woman (with grown kids).

I thought I would love to go to a shelter to save a dog, but given that I had allergies it was tough to find a hypo-allergenic dog at a shelter.  While looking on the site for The North East Animal Shelter in Salem, MA I saw a few Carin Terrier type dogs (you know, Toto from the Wizard of Oz?) and when we went there a few of them were not good with kids, but then we met Brady. All I was concerned about is, “Is he good with Kids? Does he Bite?”  He looked a little scrappy and un-kept, but he was so sweet, shy but not skittish.   He did not seem to shed too much. He is definitely Carin and something else. We think boxer. It’s almost like below his chest he sheds somewhat but his hair on his head does not.  So far it’s been almost two weeks and he is so respectful of the house and our space.  He is also older and has not eaten the stairs, my shoes or the guinea pig.  We have taken him everywhere and he has been in several situations with kids, babies, multiple visits from several people in our home and all seems well. We go to the vet in a week and a half so should know more about him then!

Brady!

 

 

pets

Giving up our dog…

So I can finally write and talk about having to find a more appropriate home for my dog.

Last year we finally decided to get a puppy. Neither my husband nor I ever had a dog growing up so it was quite the learning experience and a lifestyle change (not to mention stressful and an emotional roller coaster!) People tried to warn me about the experience- much the way that women warn you about giving birth – they tell you some of the stuff but not all!   Since I have allergies we decided on a hyper allergenic one. When I first started researching I could not believe the cost of some of these types of dogs? Really? 2k? Ugh, so I kept researching and found a breeder in a nearby state. I do not think she was a true breeder but just someone who liked dogs and decided to breed a few litters (that should have been a signal) Plus, it is really hard to walk away from a litter of cute puppies!

It all started out well enough until our puppy started showing signs of aggression – food, toys, people – we had several trainers come in to try to help us and it did not seem to work. When he was older he was fine out and about at the park, at soccer games and great with dogs and with kids in an outside environment and seemed to get over the food aggression but when anyone came to the door or was in our house he liked to attack when they first came through the door….and bite…a lot…while in our home and we just never knew what could lead up to a nip or bite.  So we stuck it out and thought he would get over his issues but after biting several people we know we had to find a more appropriate home (and one without kids).

Luckily we met a wonderful woman who rescues cockapoos and evaluates them and places them with people who are experienced with dogs and can handle some of the challenges. After evaluating our soon to be one year old dog, she concluded he was quite intelligent, got away with a lot, needed to be in an adult home without any kids and in a home that had lots of experience with dogs. She is also a breeder of cockapoos and after seeing all her dogs I would recommend if you are in the market for a puppy to choose one from her. None of her dogs are aggressive in any way. She knows what she is doing, knows her dogs and will know right away if a puppy will fit into your home and lifestyle.  Having a puppy can be difficult and challenging and she recommended that we not get another puppy but consider an older dog.  Older dogs can be great for families – they are trained, both socially and potty trained, don’t chew things or people! and you will know their personality.  If you are in the Massachusetts area contact Shady Lane Kennel. The web site has a ton of information.  Having been through the experience of buying a puppy and trying to train him, I would recommend the following tips:

1.  If you are a first time dog owner do NOT get a puppy – they are far too much work, require a lot of care and training and it can be stressful! I would recommend an older dog that has a track record of good behavior and is trained!

2.  Research, research, research -Our friends have a boxer and while we loved him they require lots of activity and can be great with kids in their own family but can be territorial. Know your breeds, research and ask the breeder questions.

3.  Do not buy a dog for your kids – At first your kids will be very excited and will walk the dog and take him out to the bathroom –  for the first week! I have always wanted a dog and knew that since I work from home the responsibility would be mine during the day at least!

4.  If you want to involve your kids and give them some responsibility spell it out and write it out BEFORE the dog comes to your home – that way everyone knows what their role is.

5.  Have systems in place before your dog arrives – know where you want to put his crate, food, water, etc. and if you will let him up on the sofa and bed because once you start letting your dog sleep with you there is no going back!

 

 

Holidays, Nail Polish, pets, Products, Teens

Gift list alert! Gift Ideas for the Holiday for mom, dad, kids and pets

Here it is! Check out my stocking stuffer segment from @NECN New England Cable News. Below are some great gift ideas and stocking stuffer items and most are under $30.00.

  • Everyone needs a calendar for the new year and I cannot say enough about Calendars.com. They have the best selection of calendars online. Moms will love the VanGogh Tri-folo Frame wall calendar as it has three separate frames and can be hung vertically or horizontally and used with any photo! ($18.99)  They also have great personalized and customizable calendars.
  • Anything from Yankee Candle Co. makes a great hostess gift  - $27.99 for the Large Jars or gift sets start at $19.99. Their fragrances are just great.
  • I think The Art of Shaving starter kit ($25) is a ideal for the teenager who just started shaving or the husband who needs something a little more luxurious than his usual razor and shave cream.
  • Our tradition each Christmas Eve is to open up a gift of PJ’s and Life is Good has comfy PJ’s with cute prints and sayings for the whole family.  Kids like to wear them as lounging pants too.

Onto the stockings stuffer gift ideas:

Kids: Remember looking in your stocking on Christmas morning? Sweet treats and personal care items were the norm for me growing up!

  • In the kids stockings I am sure Santa will add a sweet treat. The packaging, presentation and the quality of Hebert candies is great.  The Shrewsbury, MA based-company offers a fun time for the holiday season so if you can, head to the mansion off 495!  Prices start at $1.95.
  • Peppa & Friends Figure Packs ($7.99) and DVD,($14.98) is a must have gift for toddlers.  Peppa is a loveable, British Pig and airs on Nick Jr.
  • Teens will love the Edward and Bella commemorative Twilight ornament which is available at Hallmark stores for $17.95.
  • COVERGIRL outlast stay brilliant nail color lasts 7 days and we love the dark colors.
  • Any of the new products from Conair.com  and their sister-brand scünci would make a great gift. Girls love The Knotted Ponytail holders and Ponytailer Bracelets that look like jewelry too!
  • Willa!  My girls love this new line of skin care called Willa.  It is paraben and sulfate free.  The skincare line was developed by a mom and daughter.

Pets: We love our pets like our own kids so let’s pamper them this holiday season!

  • Melrose, Mass. based Lilly & Abbie  is an online store that allows you to design your own custom products including pet items. Who would not want a matching collar and leash?   (starting at $24)
  • Your dog will love the Animal Planet Plush dog toy set for $19.99 at Kohls.  This 4 pack is so cute with a hidden squeaker inside each stuffed toy.
  • Crinkits from Zigoopets  is designed to provide protection around a water bottle. Crinkits give your dog an interactive toy they won’t want to put down. ($19.99)

MOM: Remember when you were little and you literally got socks and underwear in your stocking? Now perfume, cosmetics, a gift card or two would be welcome too!

  • For mom’s stocking she will love Boot Tights  What a concept – tights with socks built into them so you can be cozy in your boots. No more cold feet or feet slipping in your boots. Check out the site or find them Bloomingdales, or Nordstroms.com. (starting at $30)
  • Hourglass Cosmetics is my new favorite line.  Hourglass is a line of cosmetics that is largely paraben- and gluten-free (as well as PETA-friendly!). The Best Of Hourglass Set is so nice! (Lipstick starts at $30, kit is $59)

DAD: Grooming essentials are a key gift and some items for the home office to make it smell nice this season would be a welcome change.

  • Riedel Water Carafe is the first of its kind, brand new and perfect for infused water from Riedel Crystal. Available online and at and at major retailers such as Williams-Sonoma, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Macy’s. ($49.95)
  • Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler, is a brand new grooming innovation that combines technology from Gillette and Braun in a single, 3-in-1 tool. It trims, edges and close shaves so guys can style any facial hair they like. Offering wet and dry shaving, it’s compact, runs on AA batteries and doesn’t need to be charged, so it fits perfectly into any busy man’s travel plans! Available in major retailers such as Target and CVS for $19.99.
  • AirCraft Infused ScentSticks provide a purer, cleaner, safer and greener alternative to home fragrance, allowing you to mix and match ScentSticks to create custom fragrances for the home.  AIRCRAFT introduced a selection of colored vases available in eight contemporary shades which add a pop of festive color to the room. Starter Kits (5 ScentSticks and vase) retail nationwide for $12.99. We also love ScentSicles Scented Ornaments. ScentSicles Scented Ornaments are an innovative way to infuse holiday spirit into your home with authentic seasonal fragrances that can be hidden throughout your home décor. ScentSicles, 5.5 inch long ornaments, can be hooked into faux (and real) Christmas trees and wreaths to add authentic/enhance scent. ScentSicles retail nationwide for $7.99. It’s a great gift for dad to put in his car or office to make it smell like the holidays.

 

Disclosure: the companies mentioned above sent me the products to review. All opinions are my own.

pets, Products

Pet Gifts! @980WCAP

We love our pets and of course if you have a pet there is a stocking hung by the chimney for Christmas.  We talked about pet gifts and more on today’s trendymommies report on 980 WCAP.

Who doesn’t want a matching collar and leash from Melrose based Lilly & Abbie? This online store that allows you to design your own custom products including pet beds and more.

Animal Planet has a great Plush dog toy set. The 4 pack is so cute with a hidden squeaker inside each of the little animals.  $19.99 Kohls

Here is something very creative:  Crinkits gives your dog an interactive toy they won’t want to put down. Crinkits from Zigoopets.com is designed to provide protection around a water bottle.  $19.99

WCAP12.11part2

 

Pet Gifts!

pets

Pet Noises

I broke down…..we now have a ginnea pig.  My kids have been begging for a dog and we almost got one over the summer. Long story… but I put in a deposit and dealt with a wierdo breeder who I guess just needed to make $ off of the small litter so we were not chosen to receive the puppy. So anyway….here comes summer and we’re not home anyway to take care of a puppy and my babysitter was heading to college and was looking for someone to take her 3 year old ginnea pig. I have to admit I was thinking a big rat…. but she really is kinda cute and makes these cooing noises.  She looks just like a zhu zhu pet.  I did not realize however that she sheds ALOT so I hope I am not allergic to her!  She also poops alot too – note to self…really research a pet before you agree to take it!

The kids are enjoying her and I thought it would be a good test for them to take care of a live creature but it is weird to have a live, furry animal in the house when you have never had one before. Besides the cute cooing the other night I was like, WHAT is that noise coming from downstairs? A big bug, a mouse? Oh wait we have a ginnea pig!  I guess I have to get used to the pet noises now!

Pet: Ginnea Pig versus zhu zhu pet

pets

List, goals, resolutions. Top must have’s for my kids 2011

As I mentioned before, I decided to make goals – not resolutions as resolutions tend to get broken easily.  I decided to share this current trend with my two girls and they liked the idea but of course what was their first goal? To get a puppy ASAP!

Both my hubby and I take complete responsibility for planting this seed in their heads as we started on this path of visiting animal rescues in our area and we almost walked away with one adorable german shepherd puppy. But we did not end up getting it, which leads everyone in the family to moan whenever the puppy discussion comes up – remember MAYA?

I did start out researching as I think it could be a nice addition to our family and when we originally asked what others thought on facebook about our MAYA dilemma many people’s response was not to do it! I know it takes a lot of work and we are nervous about having a dog as each of us has never had a dog before.  I just think the right one has not come along yet. We also have to figure out what breed we wanted. I really want a non-shedding dog, the kids want a small, white fluffy dog and of course the hubby wants a GSD. In any case I have done tons of research and dogs are quite expensive (especially when it’s the fluffy, white purebred type!) So we will add this to the list of goals (and savings account). Some great resources include:  http://www.petfinder.com or http://www.nextdaypets.com.    I am already envisioning the cute little puppy items we will need!